How I Grew a Spam Site to $1000/Month in Only 3 Months

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matt-cutts-seo-is-not-spamNo, my website wasn’t about Spam meat. What I mean is, it was absolute garbage in terms of quality of content. The posts were only 200 words long, and the content wasn’t even entirely accurate (I’ll get to that in a minute). However, what started out as a test experiment turned into a giant money-making website.

I launched the site last year with 25 posts. Within a month, it was getting 500+ visitors a day – all organic traffic from Google – and making between close to $500 per month with Adsense. Today, that site has over 500 published pages and makes over $1000/month with Adsense.

Here’s how I did it.

Finding an Explosive Niche

First, this was all possible because of the niche the site is in. It was uncompetitive, and there were a lot of sudden surges in search queries for my keywords.

I was a little hesitant about revealing the exact niche here since it would open the door to a flood of competition. But this post is gold, and I really want to share it but it would make no sense if I didn’t share the niche with you. So here it is: online movies.

When I first started the site, I was researching topics that would bring me spikes of enormous traffic without having to pay for it i.e. Google search. So I did a little research on trendy topics on Google. This led me to a few movie titles at the time that were trending in Google searches.

So, there it is! I decided to create a website that took advantage of the buzz on upcoming movie releases. But I didn’t really want to target Hollywood movies. There was a LOT of competition there already, and I didn’t want to spend so much of my time building links for a mere experiment website.

So I went with international movies. Bollywood films, Japanese, Hong Kong, you name it. Whatever was getting a lot of buzz, I was going to take advantage of it.

Building the Site

The first thing I did was build the homepage. Since I would be targeting movies from a bunch of different countries, my title looked something like this:

Watch Japanese, Hong Kong, Bollywood, Korean, and Vietnamese Movies Online

Yeah, pretty spammy I know. The homepage was just a big list of latest blog posts where I wrote posts about the movies. It wasn’t pretty or anything.

Then I built a few high PR links from my PBN to give the site some link juice and authority. I wasn’t going to build links to any of the inner pages, just the home page. The plan was: get a bunch of traffic based on domain authority and freshness of the content for time-sensitive trendy keywords.

Why were the keywords time-sensitive?
Because newly released movies get big surges in search queries. People search for new released movies because they get a lot of press and people want to watch them.

A Different Kind of Keyword Research

The cool thing about targeting movies is that most SEO’s don’t really pay attention to them. Google’s Keyword Planner doesn’t update you on how many searches a movie title gets when the movie just came out. Second, it’s not an evergreen niche. Big traffic numbers today doesn’t mean big traffic numbers in the future.

So, you can’t use Keyword Tools to target your keywords. You need to use trends and news. You need to look at box office charts. Only then, you know what the current most popular movies are. So using this method, you’re going outside of the box of how SEO is normally taught, and you’re cutting out a lot of competition.

Formatting the Posts and Targeting Keywords for Big Traffic

When I discovered what the hottest movies are, I would write posts about them. Let’s say the title of the movie was “Keyword Monster.”

The title of my post would be: “Watch Keyword Monster 2015 Online: A Review”.

By formatting it as such, I was targeting a bunch of keyword phrases. Anytime someone was looking for a review I would be found. If they were looking to watch the movie, they would find my site. If they searched with the year, they would find my site.

The content of my posts contained a review and synopsis of the movie, a trailer, and information about where to watch it. They obviously couldn’t watch the movie yet since it was a new release in theatres. Also, the review and synopsis were not 100% accurate. It was a bunch of fluff that I wrote to fill up word count.

I got my articles from iWriter, and I paid $2/article that was 150 words long. It was enough to rank so I continued to order them.

Do you have to buy your articles?
No. In the beginning, I wrote them myself. They were 150-200 words long. I watched the trailer, and read a synopsis (if there was an English version) and then I wrote a bunch of fluff about the movie, making up the synopsis from the top of my head based on what I thought it was about.

I put an image of the movie poster along with the content, added a trailer, and then optimized an Adsense block at the top and bottom of the post. I also listed that the movie is still playing in theatres and isn’t available online yet.

Again, this was just an experiment site to see if this type of stuff would rank. I’m sure some white-hats are going to get annoyed at such low-quality stuff ranking on Google. Do I encourage others to do the same? Not really. But it’s making money for me, and if anyone wants to try and get the same results for themselves, they’re free to do so. It’s by far the easiest money-making website I ever made.

Why I Ranked So Quickly

First of all, movies are time sensitive searches. When a movie is released, it becomes a trending search. People are interested in it and lots of people do searches for it. When I’m one of the only sites that publish an article about a review, synopsis, and a place to watch it online, it rises above everything else.

Would this have worked if I targeted Hollywood movies? Probably not. A lot of affiliates are doing this already it seemed, and they would go as far as to build entire websites on a new movie.

International movies may not get as many searches as Hollywood movies, but they’re still crazy profitable. I was getting 500+ visitors a day within my first month of launching the site. It was really amazing to see. I never saw anything like this for other niches I’ve entered.

Like I mentioned before, this site was just an SEO experiment. I never intended to grow my site out so largely, but after seeing how ridiculously easy it was to rank and make money from it, it now has over 500 pages.

Will this last long-term? I wouldn’t guess so. I wouldn’t quit my job if my income depended on this one site even if it was bringing in $10,000/month. It’s not a quality site that I would feel confident calling a long-term business.

However, it’s now about a year and half since I first launched the site and traffic is still thriving. Until it gets some kind of penalty, I’ll be enjoying the traffic and extra income it provides.

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Jamie Bull
    January 11, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Hi Chris. Sweet post man. I experienced similar results myself with some of my YouTube videos and Tumblr blogs. It really is pretty sweet to see stuff like this after all the updates. Just started following your stuff and looking forward to more. Keep it up man!

    Jamie

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 11, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Cool, thanks Jamie.

      Nice to hear you’re experiencing similar results.

  • Reply
    Alice
    April 14, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Hi Chris,

    Are you not worried about getting your Adsense account banned? Since this is how you monetize all of your other “safe” sites?

    Alice

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Hey Alice, not really. The site does’t break Adsense’s TOS.

  • Reply
    collin
    June 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Great experiment. I’ve been following your work and would love to learn from you. By the way that social share bar is cool as hell. I hope you dont mind telling me what plugin you used for it. random, but I think its cool. im going to take your new course really soon. p.s keep up the great work.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      July 1, 2015 at 2:21 am

      Thanks, Collin. That social bar is from SumoMe, as is the pop up that you sometimes see. They’re both free to use.

  • Reply
    CY
    August 18, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Hi Chris:

    Coincidentally I have the similar ideas but just never put it in action .. I see that this post is written in January. What would you do now to rank a spammy site like this?Specially, to rank keywords with virtually no competition in SEO. Would PBN still work?? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      August 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      With no competition, it wouldn’t be too difficult. And yes, PBN’s would still work.

  • Reply
    Eric Carrell
    September 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Hey Chris, what kind of places would you go specifically to find keywords?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      September 17, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Google’s Keyword Planner is my go-to tool for that.

  • Reply
    Bill Nixon
    September 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Great article. I wonder how many untapped, trending searches there really are though? Movies are great because there is a steady supply of temporary searches. Most trends seem to be news related and they’re dominated by the news sites.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      September 17, 2015 at 2:50 am

      Thanks, Bill!

  • Reply
    Raj
    November 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Hey Chris some of your post is confusing me man , on 1 side you say sandbox exist and on one you are saying you ranked and gettin traffic of 500+ visitor each day…. Which one is correct ?

    From my view i have made a website in health related niche and it is 2 months now and i see no where in ranking of my site ,, i have made few backlinks also and everything but not so much ranking??/ What should i do or i have to keep patience ?

  • Reply
    Lynn
    May 25, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Does this still work in May 2016? Would be interesting to know 😛

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 25, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Will need to do a new case study around this, Lynn.

  • Reply
    AJ
    March 5, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Chris. I stumbled upon your post by luck! I started two films/videos blogs a few months back. I will be grateful to share the URLs with you by email and ask you a couple of questions. Thanks you.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Sure, AJ send me an email.

  • Reply
    Evan
    April 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing but can I use this kind of site to sign up Google Adsense?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 26, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Definitely not.

  • Reply
    Rajesh
    March 8, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Really interesting Chris!
    Sometimes, I wonder how such websites still manage to get through AdSense spam policies.
    There are hundreds of spammy websites who share self-hosted torrents of udemy courses. Such sites are simply spam but still make huge money with AdSense.

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